Day 16 – Photo Ooops

Friday, October 28, 2011

Towhead Island, mile marker #923.5 Ohio River to Green Turtle Bay Marina, Lake Barkley, KY

(see accompanying Photo Blog for Day 16)

Terry and I effortlessly pulled up the anchor and we got under way without a hitch, almost.

“Damn!” I don’t often curse or swear so Hugh knows something’s not right when I do. I had just pulled my camera out of my breast pocket to take a picture of where we were anchored. I couldn’t see anything displayed on the digital display. Because it was all black I thought that I hadn’t turned it on so I checked but it was turned on. I had just put a fresh battery in it the day before so that shouldn’t be the problem. When there’s a problem, sometimes the best thing to do is start all over again. So I turned it off and turned it on again. The lens extended out but only the upper right hand corner of the screen illuminated. It was cracked!

Drat! I had just bought the camera in August, when my old one went walking at a central nervous system dissection class that I was teaching in Baltimore. We had taken a break for lunch and gone up stairs. There are four floors in the office building where the lab is. The basement and fourth floor are the lab, the other three floors have a MRI office, dental office and a state government office. So the public has access to the various floors although no one really wants to visit the basement, which can be a scary labyrinth, especially if you don’t know what you’re walking into and happen across a dead and cut up body. (For those interested, I have pictures posted on my personal website then click the photos tab and it will take you to them.) I thought I had taken my camera up to the fourth floor where we were going to have lunch but I couldn’t find it and it wasn’t in the lab downstairs. We searched everywhere! But didn’t find it. So I had to go buy a new one that night at Best Buy.

Now I’d have to figure out how to take pictures framing and focusing them with only one-quarter of the display semi-functional. The landscape that we’ve been passing through has been fairly similar to that we saw on the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. Fortunately a bald eagle looks a lot like other bald eagles, as do great blue herons and pelicans. But sunsets and sunrises do not comply with the adage “if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.”

Upon hearing about my predicament, both Bill and Mike offered to let me use their cameras.

“Maybe I could talk you into giving me a copy of what you take pictures of.” Bill continued to say that he doesn’t use his that often.

I’d give him copies of my pictures just for the asking.

“You can use my other camera if you want,” Mike said. “We’ll need to put a memory card in it as the internal memory is pretty full with previous pictures.”

I thanked the guys and said I was going to see how it went with mine. I wouldn’t hesitate to take them up on their offer if I changed my mind. I took some pictures over the next hour and then downloaded them to my laptop. I wanted to determine if I was getting a decent focus as well as framing. And because I couldn’t see anything on the viewer I didn’t know what settings I had it on; I was particularly interested in the ISO setting. Fortunately I knew that I always had the quick change setting it hovering on the ISO setting. My guess was that it was set at 400. My test photos confirmed this, which made me know that yes I had changed it from 400 to 800 to 1600 enough that I could do it without seeing it on the display. Perhaps it would work out okay.

I was still bumming though. I really like the camera and will need to figure out how to get it repaired. I didn’t buy “insurance” for it and I don’t think my credit card has insurance that covers purchases. Anything would have to wait a few weeks until I get home. I’ll probably send it to BDC Camera Repair in Madison, WI. They’ve repaired cameras for me before and are good folks. The work they do is quality and often less expensive than the manufacturers.

I was hoping for another enjoyable day on the river, but my ankle (just below where I traumatized my leg) a few days earlier was hurting when I’d stand for any period of time. That bummed me also. We would be stopping around lunch time on Lake Barkley at Green Turtle Bay Marina. There we would be able to experience the comforts of civilization: shower, laundry, groceries, water, pump out and restaurant food! I was hoping that I could buy an ankle support or wrap at a pharmacy or the grocery store.

In order to enter Barkley Lake we had to go through a lock. This would be our first ascending lock. Where we were entering the lock on Barkley Lake we were lower than lake level. Once the gates were closed water would be added, slowly we hoped, and we would rise up – in this case 57 feet. Before we could enter the lock though we had to wait for a “double” to come out, from up river. A double meant that there was a tow with too many barges to fit completely into the lock at one time. The tow would have to push some or half of the barges into the lock, do the lock thing (in this case descend), push those barges out and tie them up, then rise back up and push in the rest and descend again. The tow then had to secure all the barges together and continue down river, past us.

Hugh requested that we have a snack to tie us over until lunch, which was just on the other side of the lock in Lake Barkley.

“What do you want?” I asked.

“Oh, I don’t know.”

“Do you want carbs or protein?”


“How about pb celery sticks?” I suggested. Earlier they had had apple bread I had made the day before. I knew that he was craving lunch, so some protein to keep the blood sugar up was probably the best thing. We hadn’t had peanut butter celery sticks on the trip yet.


“With ants?” quipped Bill.

“Huh?” I asked.

“Yeah, with ants,” Hugh concurred.

“You know, ants – raisins,” Bill said.

It had been a long time since I had had peanut butter celery sticks with raisins, a very long time. Pb celery sticks with ants it would be if I could find any of those critters. Raisins were in the cupboard near the peanut butter and I had plenty of celery. Inspired by some food art Hugh and I had seen on our honeymoon in Vietnam in September I decided to get creative. The guys each got half a stick with pb and a half stick with pb and raisins. The captain got something fancier. There were some wooden skewers in the galley so I broke two of them in appropriate lengths and got some paper towels and the kitchen shears. I quickly made a main mast, boom and sail and a fore mast, boom and sail and stuck them in the pb and celery. Then added six walnut piece crew members.


Hopefully that would hold them until we got to the marina and had some lunch.

Two large motor cruisers rushed into the marina just ahead of us. One was Andiamo. We later would find out it was a deliver out of Chicago that had had motor problems. The two boats pulled up to the fuel dock first. The dock workers moved a couple work boats so we could tie up and get a pump out and water.

“Let’s have a muster,” Captain Hugh told us. “The laundry is over by the office as are the showers. Town is about a mile and there is a grocery. On site here there’s a ship’s store, a spa and health club and a cafe that closed at 2 PM. And apparently THE place to go for dinner is a local place called Patti’s Settlement. They have a free shuttle.”

It was 2:30, much later than any had anticipated and a bit late to go to town for lunch. PB & J sandwiches hopefully would satisfy people until dinner at 6.

“And it’s a dry county so we have to go back to Peducah if we want any wine or such. Some of these other boats are renting a car Mike. Maybe if you want some wine you could talk to one of them.”

“We can get a convenience car; the deposit is only $20.” I said. The idea of walking into town and back with groceries on a sore leg wasn’t very enticing.

“Well, they were pretty busy when I was in there, if you can get one go ahead.”

Bill needed to run an errand as well so after a quick bite, shower and putting wash in, Bill and I drove to Benton. We had an hour and thirty minutes to drive 20 minutes one-way, do quick shopping and drive 20 minutes back. Well the gal at the marina office said it was a 20 minute drive, but at 75 miles per hour (the speed limit was 70 most of the way) it was a 22 minute drive. We only maybe 45 minutes, at the most to get in an out of WalMart with a full list in bags. Then to get my $20 deposit back I had to fill the minivan up with gas.

Bill was great – he pushed the cart following me up and down aisles as I speed-scanned the shelves rapidly crossing off my list.

“Bill do you see soy sauce?”

“Never mind I found it.”

In and out in 40 minutes! Now to get back – gas, turn in the key and unpack the refrigerated groceries before Patti’s shuttle. Our driver was the assistant executive chef and gave us the low down about the highlights on the menu. The restaurant is more than a place where good food is served. It’s a village unto itself. Details about all the fun stuff that is available – gift shops, pie shop, animals to pet, playground, miniature golf and more can be found online at

The young woman who lead us to our table told us that Bobbie would be our waitress and proceeded to tell us about how Patti’s was famous for their 2 inch pork chop, which weighs about one pound. Their special was a steak and three huge butterflied shrimp and we were to make sure we saved room for one of their 12 desserts, of which they were famous for their mile high meringue pie which came in lemon, chocolate and coconut (I think).

“Bobbie will be right over to take your drink order and bring you your pot bread.”

“Have any of you been to Patti’s before?”


Bobbie launched into the same spiel, “Well welcome to Patti’s where if you leave hungry it’s not our fault. Our special is…”

“Now what can I get you all for drinks and appetizers?”

Hugh had the pork chop, Terry had the steak and shrimp, Mike had the seafood alfredo pasta, which our driver had told us about the recent improvements to the recipe. Andy had baked chicken pasta and I had catfish. (Bill had gone off on his own wandering adventure.) For desert there were 12 choices including mile high meringue pie with meringue that was 6 to 8 inches tall. I opted for boo boo pie – brownie like filling with coconut macaroon topping. Andy had a piece of chess pie. And we talked a dutch peach pie into going back to the boat with us.


About juliemckaycovert

I am a therapist, teacher, photographer and published author. I am a lover of life and nature. My husband, Hugh, and I live off the grid on a remote 40 acre island, Shelter Island, just off of Drummond Island in the far eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This blog is about my life, a life I thought I'd never be able to live. This blog is about dreams and ideals being manifested. It is about daily events with a backwoods twist. It is about the simple pleasures and wonders being brought forth. I invite you to be inspired and even, as some friends have, live vicariously through my words.
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